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Making Riffs

Music Theory
ChevyChe23  
8 Sep 2008 22:43 | Quote
Joined: 08 Sep 2008
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As a vocalist in a metal band, I mainly just write the lyrics and vocal melodies, but lately I've been wanting tow write my own stuff. Problem is, I have no idea on how to write a good riff... let alone a whole song.

Any ideas on how I can just pick up a guitar ( I can play btw ) and just write riffs?
TheAmericanBrit  
8 Sep 2008 22:45 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2008
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No idea. My stuff either just comes to me, or I play what I've heard in my collection.
ChevyChe23  
8 Sep 2008 22:45 | Quote
Joined: 08 Sep 2008
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I forgot to add, most of the time I write in drop-D, that's the only tuning I've ever been able to write in.
RelaxedDude  
8 Sep 2008 22:56 | Quote
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Haha, yah I just play around with different chords and scales until Im like "hey, that sounds good!"

Then I expand from there
BodomBeachTerror  
8 Sep 2008 23:02 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
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wut relaxed dude said.. try different tempos and rhythms too
Veqq  
8 Sep 2008 23:22 | Quote
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Remember, palm muting, galloping, and un-muted higher notes. Or a cool muted rythm, and then some power chords or notes.

Those are the 2 main riff types found in metal.
GuitarBoy666  
9 Sep 2008 05:13 | Quote
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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Everything I've ever wrote either came from me just playing around with different chord progressions/notes/scales/etc. and changing them around til it sounded pretty good.

Also, sometimes if you are playing a cover song you know, and you screw up, it sounds good. But don't make it too similar to the original song. Change it up in a few spots.
EMB5490  
9 Sep 2008 06:36 | Quote
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just seems to come, som times im sitting and i think of somthing, sometimes words tick it, like my mom said devils child, im like thts a perfect song name
JustJeff  
9 Sep 2008 07:34 | Quote
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If you have never had any training or theory classes before, writing a song usually involves just playing around with a chord progression, than spicing it up.

Otherwise, think of something in your head, than find it on the guitar. That's how I usually write stuff. Start with one of your vocal melodies and do a "Wouldn't it be cool if..."

See how that goes.
BodomBeachTerror  
9 Sep 2008 10:07 | Quote
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also sometimes i might just be humming a random tune, and think, hey thats cool, then pick up my guitar and figure out how to play it
JazzMaverick  
9 Sep 2008 15:01 | Quote
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Welcome to the site Chevy.

Everyone's covered your info I think. Just look for inspiration (don't copy) and mess around on the guitar, find something you like and go from there really.
league  
9 Sep 2008 18:08 | Quote
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Try to play rhythms off pentatonics and mix it with unexpected chords. Percussion with picking styles also helps.
JazzMaverick  
10 Sep 2008 12:04 | Quote
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If he's in metal, it wouldn't really be around the pentatonic... play scales like the diminished (total of three positions) or the whole tone scale. They're pretty good for it. Although it does depend on what type of metal you're playing.
BodomBeachTerror  
10 Sep 2008 12:05 | Quote
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oldschool thrash is pretty much pentatonic
aterrell  
25 Oct 2008 01:34 | Quote
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Yeah. Depending on what kind of metal you're playing. If yer playing thrash, you would do palm muted triplets or a gallop with power chords or a bit of a scale. Other types of metal are primarily gonna consist of power chords and/or a scale. If yer sound is really bluesy, I would highly suggest a Blues Pentatonic scale(this is just a really cool scale in general; the song doesn't have to be bluesy for you to use it). I really like Natural Minor scales.
soy.el.che  
25 Oct 2008 17:04 | Quote
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play play play, grab a guitar play loud. somethin will come 2 u, but if u are already used 2 writing lyrics, youve got half the way done
aterrell  
25 Oct 2008 17:05 | Quote
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I personally find lyrics the hardest part of writing a song.
soy.el.che  
25 Oct 2008 17:15 | Quote
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thats why.
EMB5490  
25 Oct 2008 17:31 | Quote
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same.
JazzMaverick  
25 Oct 2008 18:38 | Quote
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Have any of you tried writing a song to lyrics you've already written? Would you not think that it's easier to write it that way?

I personally do, but that's just me.
BodomBeachTerror  
25 Oct 2008 18:40 | Quote
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yea or come up with lyrics and a melody, then add guitar to it
TheAmericanBrit  
25 Oct 2008 18:54 | Quote
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I write lyrics after I have a melody, beat, and rhythm. Then I don't have to re-write the lyrics to match the rhythm/beat.
EMB5490  
25 Oct 2008 18:57 | Quote
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prob is i dont have any lyrics. lol.
TheAmericanBrit  
25 Oct 2008 18:58 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2008
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Then just write instrumentals.

You don't HAVE to have lyrics.
aterrell  
25 Oct 2008 19:12 | Quote
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Yeah. I write the music first. I rarely can think of lyrics. But I always write my music so that lyrics can still fit cleanly in, if that makes sense.
TheAmericanBrit  
26 Oct 2008 01:46 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2008
United States
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Riffs? I......don't know....

I normally just mess around on my guitar until I play something that sounds cool to me.
jose11347  
20 Jan 2009 16:31 | Quote
Joined: 20 Jan 2009
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um..smoke some weed?
guitarmastergod  
20 Jan 2009 18:44 | Quote
Joined: 09 Sep 2008
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learn d minor all over the fretboard if your in drop d and just listen to metalcore a lot. eventually you will be able tdo come up with genaric metalcore riffs, i do all the time.


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